Weed­busters

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents -

How to beat tut­san

Lo­ca­tion: through­out the North Is­land and mainly in wet­ter ar­eas of the South Is­land, plus Ste­wart, Chatham and Camp­bell Is­lands

Dis­tinc­tive fea­tures: this small (up to 1.5m) peren­nial, semi-ev­er­green shrub from Europe is re­lated to the or­na­men­tal hy­per­icums. It has the same dis­tinc­tive yel­low flow­ers, al­though on a smaller scale. Flow­ers are fol­lowed by round red berries that ripen to black. The fra­grant oval leaves are usu­ally bluish un­der­neath and can turn red in au­tumn.

Where will you see it: it takes hold in ar­eas of dis­turbed for­est and shrub­land, tus­sock­land, bare land and rock­lands, usu­ally in ar­eas with high rain­fall, form­ing dense stands.

Why is it weedy: it pro­duces long-lived, well-dis­persed seeds which are spread by birds and pos­si­bly pos­sums into bush ar­eas. It tol­er­ates semi-shade and a wide range of tem­per­a­tures, and in­vades re­gen­er­at­ing bush sites.

How does it spread: once berries turn black and ripen, they dis­in­te­grate, spread­ing large amounts of dust-like seed over a wide area.

Look out for small, bright yel­low, five-petalled flow­ers,fol­lowed by fleshy,round, red berries,which ripen to black

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